(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields said that an automaker probably will introduce a self-driving vehicle within half a decade, but it won’t be his company, which is focusing on less expensive features that assist in driving.
“Fully autonomous vehicles are a real possibility,” Fields said at a Monday dinner with analysts and journalists on the eve of International CES in Las Vegas. “Probably, in the next five years, you’ll see somebody introduce autonomous vehicles.”
Automakers are racing to develop self-driving cars that safely transport commuters in congested urban areas. At the same conference, Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche unveiled the Mercedes-Benz F 015, a concept car that can autonomously move people.
If Ford’s forecast comes true, consumers may someday be able to buy a vehicle without a steering wheel or brake pedals that would operate in autopilot mode, driving more efficiently and reducing traffic jams. In the meantime, automakers are seeking a piece of the $11.3 billion in factory-installed technologies going into cars this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
The F 015 Mercedes concept car has four seats, including the driver’s, that can face each other, rather than the road, Daimler said today in Las Vegas. Six screens allow passengers to monitor information about the vehicle and the outside world, using technology that responds to eye movements and gestures.